Pakistani Christians Rally Against Persecution at UN Headquarters
03/21/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On March 17, Pakistani Christians living in Europe rallied in Geneva at the headquarters of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. At that rally, the Christians sought to raise awareness of Christian persecution in Pakistan as well as the abuse of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws against minorities.
Speaking at the rally, Frank John, a Pakistan Christian, said, “We are unhappy with the functioning of the government in Pakistan because the mindset of ‘maulvis’ (Islamic hardliners) towards Christians is immoral. Every day, atrocities are being committed against our children, especially girls, which is not acceptable.”
In Pakistan, the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan estimates that 1,000 Christian and Hindu women between the ages of 12 and 25 are kidnapped, raped, and forcefully converted to Islam every year. This issue of forced conversions to Islam remains one of the most challenging issues faced by religious minorities in Pakistan.
John went on to speak out against Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws. He said, “Every person in Pakistan is unhappy with [the blasphemy laws] because we always remain in fear of its misuse. If we have an altercation with any person, they [accuse] us under [the blasphemy laws]. This is a dangerous law and needs to be abolished.”
Many human rights experts agree that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are widely abused. Often, these laws are used to settle personal scores or incite religiously motivated violence, often against minority communities.
Making up less than 2% of Pakistan’s overall population, it is unlikely that Pakistan will implement changes to help curb the persecution faced by Pakistani Christians. Hopefully raising awareness on an international platform will help bring pressure on the current government to take steps to securing this small minority.
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